Table Of Contents
Release Notes for Cisco Network Boot
October 22, 2003
Note You can find the most current documentation on Cisco.com.
These release notes support Cisco Network Boot software release 3.2.1.
For a list of software caveats that apply to Release 3.2.1, see the "Caveats" section. The caveats are updated for every maintenance release and are located on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM.
These release notes describe the following topics:
Cisco Network Boot is a product that allows you to boot a computer without an attached disk drive. Cisco Network Boot supports a boot of the following operating systems:
•Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Server 2003
•Red Hat Linux 9.0 or Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1
With Cisco Network Boot, a computer without a directly attached disk drive uses iSCSI protocol via an iSCSI driver to boot from an iSCSI disk through an IP network and a Cisco SN 5400 or MDS 9000 Series system (see Figure 1). As with any iSCSI disk, even though it is not directly attached to the computer accessing it, the disk appears to the computer as if it were directly attached.
Note The iSCSI protocol is an IETF-defined protocol for IP storage (ips). For more information about the iSCSI protocol, refer to the IETF standards for IP storage at http://www.ietf.org.
Figure 1 Cisco Network Boot Using Cisco SN 5400 Series System
Table 1 describes the system requirements for hosts, the DHCP and TFTP servers, and the iSCSI targets that utilize Cisco Network Boot.
Table 1 Cisco Network Boot System Requirements
Master boot host
•IBM PC-compatible computer with an Intel Pentium III or higher processor, with BIOS support for PXE 2.1 or later.
•A network interface and NIC supported by PXE.
•A directly attached disk drive configured with a supported operating system and the appropriate iSCSI driver.
Cisco Network Boot supports the following Microsoft Windows operating systems, with the Cisco iSCSI driver version 3.1.2 (or later) for Microsoft Windows:
–Microsoft Windows 2000 (Server or Advanced Server) with Service Pack 3
–Microsoft Windows XP (Professional Edition) with Service Pack 1
–Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (Enterprise, Standard or Web Edition)
Cisco Network Boot supports the following Linux operating systems (running LILO version 22.5.6 or later) with the Linux iSCSI driver version 3.4.1 (or later), available from SourceForge:
–Red Hat Linux 9.0
–Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1
Note LILO is a boot loader for Linux, and version 22.5.6 is available as a download from freshmeat.net.
•IBM PC-compatible computer with an Intel Pentium III or higher processor, with BIOS support for PXE 2.1 or later.
•A network interface supported by PXE.
Note For hosts running a Microsoft Windows operating system, the hardware must be identical to the master boot host hardware, including identical network hardware and connections.
DHCP and TFTP servers
•A DHCP server configured with reserved IP addresses for each host.
•A TFTP server to transfer the iNBP.com file to the host.
Note One server may provide both functions.
•iSCSI targets configured on one or more of the following systems:
–SN 5428 Storage Router, running software release 3.2 or later
–SN 5428-2 Storage Router
–MDS 9000 Series system, running SAN-OS Release 1.1(1) or later
•A suitable storage device (JBOD or storage array) with sufficient space to hold the boot image. The iSCSI target block size must be 512 bytes.
Note Storage arrays are recommended because they provide redundancy and are more flexible than JBODs.
•Cisco SN 5400 or MDS 9000 Series system.
•Ethernet switch or hub (optional).
•Fibre Channel switch or hub (optional).
New and Changed Information
Cisco Network Boot release 3.2.1 includes the following new and changed features:
•Expanded operation system support—allows hosts to boot Red Hat Linux 9.0, Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1, or SUSE SLES8 operating systems.
•Network Boot Replication Utility for Linux—allows you to easily perform replication tasks for hosts running the Linux operating system.
This section describes how to obtain updated Network Boot software, and includes the following information:
iSCSI Driver Version Support
For hosts running a Microsoft Windows operating system, Cisco Network Boot requires the Cisco iSCSI Driver version 3.1.2 (or later) for Microsoft Windows.
For hosts running a Linux operating system, Cisco Network Boot requires the Linux iSCSI driver version 3.4.1 (or later), available from SourceForge.
Obtaining Updated Software and iSCSI Drivers
Registered Cisco.com users can download the most current Cisco Network Boot software, Cisco iSCSI drivers, readme files and release notes from Cisco.com. In addition, information about driver compatibility and other relevant driver information is available on Cisco.com.
You can access software and related information by following these instructions:
Step 1 At http://www.cisco.com, log in to Cisco.com. Click Technical Support and Software Center.
Step 2 At the Software Center web page, under Software Products & Downloads, click Storage Networking Software.
Step 3 At the Storage Networking Software web page, click the appropriate link for your software.
Step 4 At the Software Download web page, click the file that you want to download. Another software download web page will be displayed with detailed information about the download file and Cisco's Software License Agreement. Follow the instructions on that and any subsequent web pages to download the software.
Step 5 To install and configure storage router software, see the appropriate storage router software configuration guide and release notes. To install and configure an iSCSI driver, see the readme file that accompanies the iSCSI driver (in the downloaded driver archive file) and the appropriate release notes.
You can download the latest Linux iSCSI driver from SourceForge.
Installing Cisco Network Boot
Refer to the Cisco Network Boot Installation and Configuration Guide Release 3.2, for complete installation and configuration information and procedures. This document is available as an electronic document on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM.
Uninstalling Cisco Network Boot
To uninstall the Cisco Network Boot Administration utility, follow these instructions:
Step 1 Choose Start > Settings > Control Panel.
Step 2 Click Add/Remove Programs.
Step 3 Choose Network Boot Administration, and click Change/Remove.
Step 4 Select Remove.
To uninstall the Cisco Network Boot Replication Utility for Linux, remove the bash script file. For additional information about the Replication Utility for Linux, refer to the readme file that accompanies the utility (in the downloaded utility archive file).
Limitations and Restrictions
•The storage device block size must be 512 bytes.
•If the host runs a Microsoft Windows operating system, the boot image must always be LUN 0.
•If the host runs a Microsoft Windows operating system, all required host hardware should be identical; network interface and connections must be identical.
Caveats describe unexpected behavior or defects in Cisco Network Boot software. Severity 1 caveats are the most serious caveats; severity 2 caveats are less serious.
This document describes open and resolved severity 1 and 2 caveats and selected caveats of other severities, for Cisco Network Boot release 3.2.1.
•The "Open Caveats" section lists caveats that are open in the current release and may be open in previous releases.
•The "Resolved Caveats" section lists caveats that are resolved in this release, but open in previous releases.
Note .If you have an account with Cisco.com, you can use Bug Navigator II to find caveats of any severity for any release. You can reach Bug Navigator II on Cisco.com at Service & Support:
There are no open severity 1 or 2 caveats for Cisco Network Boot release 3.2.1
When using a DL 360 G2 and using Cisco Network Boot to boot from an iSCSI LUN (using the engineering build of the BIOS/firmware for the DL 360) a blue screen condition may occur from the Broadcom NIC driver. With the latest BIOS from Compaq, the system no longer blue-screens during the boot process. However, it may hang and the Windows kernel debugger is unable to break into the system.
Workaround: Manually install the system, using the latest BIOS downloaded from NET. This is a permanent workaround, and should always be used if the problem occurs.
The following sections describe the related documentation available for Cisco Network Boot Release 3.2.1. These documents consist of an installation and configuration guide, release notes and readme file for Cisco Network Boot, release notes and readme file for the Cisco iSCSI Driver version 3.1.2 (or later) for Microsoft Windows, readme file for the Linux iSCSI driver version 3.4.1 (or later), and the SN 5400 and MDS 9000 Series system hardware and software configuration guides.
The Cisco Network Boot Installation and Configuration Guide is available as an electronic document on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM. The SN 5400 and MDS 9000 Series system hardware installation and software configuration documentation sets are available as electronic documents, and may be available as printed manuals. The Cisco Network Boot readme file and the iSCSI driver readme files are available in electronic format, as part of the software download package. See the "Obtaining Updated Software and iSCSI Drivers" section for details.
This release notes document is the only document specific to Cisco Network Boot Release 3.2.1. It is only available as an electronic document on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM.
Each release of SN 5400 and MDS 9000 Series system software, and Cisco iSCSI driver software, includes an associated Release Notes document, which is also available as an electronic document on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM.
Platform-specific documents consist of the release notes and readme file for the Cisco iSCSI Driver version 3.1.2 (or later) for Microsoft Windows and the readme file for the Linux iSCSI driver version 3.4.1 (or later) from SourceForge. The readme files are part of the driver download archive file. The Release Notes document for the Cisco iSCSI driver is available in electronic format only. See the "Obtaining Updated Software and iSCSI Drivers" section for details.
Refer to the appropriate SN 5400 or MDS 9000 Series system hardware installation guide for hardware installation procedures. These documents are available as electronic documents on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM, and may be available as printed manuals.
Refer to the Cisco Network Boot Installation and Configuration Guide Release 3.2, for installation and configuration information and procedures. This document is available as an electronic document on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM.
Refer to the appropriate SN 5400 or MDS 9000 Series system software configuration guide for software configuration information.These documents are available as electronic documents on Cisco.com and the Documentation CD-ROM, and may be available as printed manuals.
Service and Support
For service and support for a product purchased from a reseller, contact the reseller, who offers a wide variety of Cisco service and support programs described in "Service and Support" of Cisco Information Packet shipped with your product.
Note If you purchased your product from a reseller, you can access Cisco.com as a guest. Cisco.com is Cisco Systems' primary real-time support channel. Your reseller offers programs that include direct access to Cisco.com services.
For service and support for a product purchased directly from Cisco, use Cisco.com.
Software Configuration Tips on the Cisco TAC Home Page
A variety of Cisco SN 5400 Series system software and iSCSI driver installation, configuration and usage tips are available on the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) Web Site.
You can access "tech tips" by following these instructions:
Step 1 At http://www.cisco.com, log in to Cisco.com. Click Technical Support, and select Hardware Support from the menu.
Step 2 At the Hardware Support web page, click Storage Networking Devices from the Hardware Support menu on the left side of the page.
Step 3 At the Storage Networking Devices web page, click the appropriate link for your system. For example, click the SN 5428 Storage Routers link.
Step 4 Click the Troubleshooting link, and then click the appropriate links for information about installing, configuring, and troubleshooting SN 5400 Series system software and iSCSI drivers.
Cisco provides several ways to obtain documentation, technical assistance, and other technical resources. These sections explain how to obtain technical information from Cisco Systems.
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Obtaining Technical Assistance
For all customers, partners, resellers, and distributors who hold valid Cisco service contracts, the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) provides 24-hour-a-day, award-winning technical support services, online and over the phone. Cisco.com features the Cisco TAC website as an online starting point for technical assistance. If you do not hold a valid Cisco service contract, please contact your reseller.
Cisco TAC Website
The Cisco TAC website (http://www.cisco.com/tac) provides online documents and tools for troubleshooting and resolving technical issues with Cisco products and technologies. The Cisco TAC website is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Accessing all the tools on the Cisco TAC website requires a Cisco.com user ID and password. If you have a valid service contract but do not have a login ID or password, register at this URL:
Opening a TAC Case
Using the online TAC Case Open Tool (http://www.cisco.com/tac/caseopen) is the fastest way to open P3 and P4 cases. (P3 and P4 cases are those in which your network is minimally impaired or for which you require product information.) After you describe your situation, the TAC Case Open Tool automatically recommends resources for an immediate solution. If your issue is not resolved using the recommended resources, your case will be assigned to a Cisco TAC engineer.
For P1 or P2 cases (P1 and P2 cases are those in which your production network is down or severely degraded) or if you do not have Internet access, contact Cisco TAC by telephone. Cisco TAC engineers are assigned immediately to P1 and P2 cases to help keep your business operations running smoothly.
To open a case by telephone, use one of the following numbers:
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For a complete listing of Cisco TAC contacts, go to this URL:
TAC Case Priority Definitions
To ensure that all cases are reported in a standard format, Cisco has established case priority definitions.
Priority 1 (P1)—Your network is "down" or there is a critical impact to your business operations. You and Cisco will commit all necessary resources around the clock to resolve the situation.
Priority 2 (P2)—Operation of an existing network is severely degraded, or significant aspects of your business operation are negatively affected by inadequate performance of Cisco products. You and Cisco will commit full-time resources during normal business hours to resolve the situation.
Priority 3 (P3)—Operational performance of your network is impaired, but most business operations remain functional. You and Cisco will commit resources during normal business hours to restore service to satisfactory levels.
Priority 4 (P4)—You require information or assistance with Cisco product capabilities, installation, or configuration. There is little or no effect on your business operations.
Obtaining Additional Publications and Information
Information about Cisco products, technologies, and network solutions is available from various online and printed sources.
•The Cisco Product Catalog describes the networking products offered by Cisco Systems, as well as ordering and customer support services. Access the Cisco Product Catalog at this URL:
•Cisco Press publishes a wide range of general networking, training and certification titles. Both new and experienced user will benefit from these publications. For current Cisco Press titles and other information, go to Cisco Press online at this URL:
•Packet magazine is the Cisco quarterly publication that provides the latest networking trends, technology breakthroughs, and Cisco products and solutions to help industry professionals get the most from their networking investment. Included are networking deployment and troubleshooting tips, configuration examples, customer case studies, tutorials and training, certification information, and links to numerous in-depth online resources. You can access Packet magazine at this URL:
•iQ Magazine is the Cisco bimonthly publication that delivers the latest information about Internet business strategies for executives. You can access iQ Magazine at this URL:
•Internet Protocol Journal is a quarterly journal published by Cisco Systems for engineering professionals involved in designing, developing, and operating public and private internets and intranets. You can access the Internet Protocol Journal at this URL:
•Training—Cisco offers world-class networking training. Current offerings in network training are listed at this URL:
This document is to be used in conjunction with the documents listed in the "Related Documentation" section.
Copyright © 2003 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.